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US-China Relations

U.S. Republican Party Established Monthly Fund-Raising Record

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the U.S. Republican National Committee (RNC) just reported the highest-in-history monthly campaign fund raising record of US$27.3 million. It did so while the competition was busy impeaching Trump. Its third quarter reported a total of US$126 million. In the meantime, the Democratic National Committee reported a debt of US$7.3 million. It appears the Republican supporters did not change their minds even with all the stories in the media on Ukraine Gate, the withdrawal from Syria, and even the impeachment. With ample funds in the bank, the Republicans started a new campaign against the Democrats called “Stop the Madness,” spending millions of dollars. The new campaign focuses on urging the voters to contact their Democratic representatives and demand tangible results that will directly benefit the people. According to RNC spokesperson Rick Gorka, the goal is to take back control of the House of Representatives.

Source: Sina, October 18, 2019
https://dailynews.sina.com/gb/usa/uspolitics/chinesedaily/2019-10-18/doc-ifzpzhhs9315702.shtml

Government Mouthpiece Assails Apple for Launching Hong Kong Map App

Apple, Inc. has re-launched a smartphone map app that can show where the Hong Kong policemen are located. The Chinese government’s mouthpiece, People’s Daily, published a critique of the map app saying, “The Chinese people, who have been victims of bullies throughout their history, . . . can’t bear having grit in one’s eye on the major issues of right and wrong.” (“can’t bear having grit in one’s eye” is a Chinese idiom, meaning cannot tolerate even a little bit)

The commentary started by saying, “The developers of the map provide navigation for ‘thugs’ without hesitation. Clearly, they have vicious intentions. The Apple Company would not shy away from approving the app so as to protect the ‘thugs.’ What are they up to?”

The article continued, “(Apple) chooses to approve the app back at the Apple Store in Hong Kong at this particular time. It is to open the doors for violent people who are ruining Hong Kong. Is it intended to be an accomplice?”

The commentary claims that “the map of the mob” is only an example. At Hong Kong’s Apple Music Store, there is also a “Hong Kong Independence” song. “Again, Apple’s series of moves is inexplicable and people have to think about the inner logic of their actions.”

The so-called Hong Kong independence song is the song “Glory to Hong Kong,” which is viewed by Hong Kong demonstrators as the theme song of the movement. Some people even call it the new “national anthem” of Hong Kong.

The article said, “The Chinese people who have been victims of bullies throughout their history have never been as united as they are today. (They) can’t bear having grit in one’s eye on the major issues of right and wrong.” “This kind of foolishness and recklessness will bring much trouble to Apple and Apple needs to think deeply.”

HKmap.Live App is the smartphone version of the website HKmap.Live. It can show the street blocks where the Hong Kong police are located. Apple once denied it, but later put it back in the Apple Store.

Source: Central News Agency, October 9, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/firstnews/201910090090.aspx

YouTube Recording on Beijing’s Ruling Crisis

On September 8, an audio recording discussing Beijing’s handling of the U.S.-China trade war was posted on YouTube.

It is not clear who made the speech. The tone indicated it was from an official with some insider information. The time may have been in May of this year, after President Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on US$200 billion worth of goods imported from China and before he announced a tariff on the remaining US$325 billion in goods. Despite the time, the points in the speech are still relevant.

Tariffs

“When the U.S. imposes tariffs, we have many ways to balance it out, such as printing more money or reimbursing the tariff to the exporting companies. However, the biggest problem is that the foreign companies will no longer stay in China. They will move to Vietnam, Thailand, or other countries to maximize their profits.

“The foreign companies’ departure will leave 45 million Chinese who work there jobless. The state-owned enterprises cannot absorb such a big population. Chinese export companies will also be finished. A total of 80 million people will have no jobs. They all have mortgages. What kind of problem will that bring to China?

“The employment problem is tied to the financial crisis and the real estate crisis. These two crises are the ruling party’s ruling crisis. An economic hard landing will bring a dramatic impact to China.”

Economic Structure

“Liu Shiyu, former head of the Securities Regulatory Commission, is the head of the All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives. He is setting up Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (SMCs) in each province. SMCs (were popular during the planned economy and) disappeared after the reform and opening up, but they are coming back. The goal of setting up SMCs is to let the government conduct unified purchases and unified sales.

“The higher levels have already arranged to use the planned economy to manage China’s weakening and hard-landing economy. The economic structure will go back to being a planned economy. There will be no way to start a private business.”

New Currency

“Another way is to print new money and recycle the old currency. This will force people who hide money under their mattresses to bring their money out for exchange.

“There are two concepts: One is that the renminbi is just a piece of paper, not real wealth. The other one is that people’s wealth (in banks) is the government’s liability. If the government wants to reduce its debt, it can evaporate the stock market or evaporate the real estate market.”

High-Level Fighting

“Whatever we do will not change the fundamental situation in China because the high-levels are conducting fierce in-fighting. There are three forces fighting each other. Among them, one group opposes the planned economy, but whether it can win out is not clear.”

Trade Negotiations

“Many of the (new) opening measures are just to fool the Americans in China’s trade negotiations. Actually, even if the negotiations reach agreement, (China) may not honor these measures. When have the Chinese honored their words? You think that the government issues an order then it becomes effective? No way…”

Source: YouTube, September 8, 2019

China Upset after Houston Rockets General Manager Tweets about “Hong Kong Independence”

China is upset because Daryl Morey, General Manager of the Houston Rockets sent out a tweet on October 5. The tweet launched a complaint in favor of boycotting the Rockets and a rampage against the team. On October 5, Daryl Morey, General Manager of Houston Rockets tweeted a photo “Fight for freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.” On October 6, the Paper, People’s Daily, and other official media carried an article titled, “The statement that the Houston Rockets General Manager Made on Hong Kong Upset Fans in China. Don’t you want the Chinese Market anymore?” In the article, it claimed that Morey’s “Hong Kong Independence tweet” has upset Rockets fans in China. It quoted a statement that a Chinese NBA commentator made that the Rockets cannot benefit from China while condemning China at the same time. … Even after Yao Ming retired from the Houston Rockets, the Rockets continued to receive financial support from numerous commercial sponsors in China. … ESPN has received tens of millions in support from China over the past four years.” Meanwhile news media including CCTV and Ten cent, Sports programs, Rocket sponsors in China, and the Chinese Basketball Association announced that they will temporarily suspend future collaboration with the Rockets. China’s Consulate General in Houston issued a complaint which requested that the Rockets “take corrective actions and eliminate this bad influence.” The article also mentioned a prior case when Dolce & Gabbana portrayed an “insulting” image about China; it has since been boycotted from entering the Chinese market.

[Editor’s Note: On October 6, Daryl Morey deleted the original tweet on Hong Kong and tweeted that … my tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA. On October 7, the NBA issued a statement that, Daryl’s “tweet does not represent the Rockets or the NBA, the values of the league support individuals’ educating themselves and sharing their views. . . .” However, numerous parties lambasted the league’s decision to apologize at all.]

Sources:
1. The Paper, October 6, 2019
https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_4609604
https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_4612025
https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_46111862
2. Radii, Chinese Fans Urge Boycott After Houston Rockets
https://radiichina.com/houston-rockets-china-hong-kong

RFI: Levels of US Officials at the National Day Celebration Significantly Decreased This Year

Radio France Internationale reported that the number of U.S. officials who attended the 70th National Anniversary cocktail reception that the Chinese Embassy held in Washington, DC significantly decreased this year. Fewer attendees appeared from the U.S. side. The highest ranked U.S. officials at the reception were Jonathan Fritz, who is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and the Director of the White House National Security Council. They didn’t make a public speech. Most of the U.S. attendees were chatting among themselves and had little interaction with the Chinese officials.

Back in 2017, first daughter Ivanka and Jerod Kushner attended the National Day celebration and had a warm interaction with Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of China. China’s official media had extensive coverage of the event. In 2018, Matt Pottinger, who has been promoted to the White House Deputy National Security Advisor, attended as a senior director of the White House National Security Council and delivered a speech. The Chinese Embassy also posted a statement on Facebook praising the friendship between the U.S. and China.

It was also noticeable that the U.S. officials attending the National Day reception held by the Chinese consulates at other locations did not meet China’s expectations. At the reception held in San Francisco on September 27, the highest U.S. ranking official was an international affairs adviser to the California Deputy Governor.

Source: Radio France Internationale, September 29, 2019
http://rfi.my/4ahM.T

U.S. Colleges See 20 Percent Fewer Chinese Students This Fall

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that, based on numbers reported in the U.S. media, multiple U.S. Colleges confirmed that they are seeing a significant decline in the number of Chinese freshmen coming to their institutions. The total dropped by 20 percent or more. The US-China trade war and the security screening are the primary contributors to the decline. Currently there are 363,000 Chinese students in the U.S. The constitute one third of all the international students. This number is more than any other nation. Typically, international students worry about gun violence and immigration restrictions. Chinese students now face one more challenge – restrictions on high-tech majors. Many Chinese students pay full tuition. This constitutes a sizable contribution to the U.S. college education market.

Source: Sina, September 25, 2019
http://finance.sina.com/gb/economy/economy_global/huanqiu/2019-09-25/doc-ifzpkqrh3249919.shtml